The Crown Prosecution Service has decided to bring charges against three people relating to 2015 election expenses allegations: Craig Mackinlay, the South Thanet candidate; Nathan Gray, his 2015 agent; and Marion Little, a CCHQ staffer.
As the CPS statement says, the three:
“…are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 4 July 2017. Criminal proceedings have now commenced and it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
It’s fair to say the timing of the CPS’s announcement, coming only a few days before the General Election, will prove controversial – at the very least.
There’ll also be an attendant risk over the next few days that some will seek to make political capital from the news, despite the strict rules on not prejudicing criminal proceedings. CCHQ’s official statement suggests that:
“The press, parties and those on social media should be aware of the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act and the strict liability rules against publishing anything which would prejudice the course of justice.”
Given those legal sensitivities, comments will be turned off on this post.